With the average age of the US population increasing, there is growing concern about abuses that take place in nursing homes. Nobody should ever have to worry about their loved ones being harmed due to careless or negligent nursing home staff members. Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began putting warning icons on their Nursing Home Compare website.
Is this icon fair to nursing homes?
CMS rolled out the new icon warning label recently. It is a red circle with a white hand held up in the middle, essentially saying “stop.” The US government will apply this icon next to facilities that have:
- received citations for instances of abuse that directly led to resident harm over the previous year.
- received abuse citations that could have led to resident harm in each of the preceding two years.
Officials with CMS will update the icons monthly and remove them for facilities that have resolved the cited abuse and neglect issues.
South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan expressed concern for this system, saying that uneven monetary penalties and abuses citations could affect facilities in his region.
Rep. Duncan said, “…I feel CMS needs to fully solve the CMP and abuse reporting issues first before we go negatively labeling facilities online. If facilities in the Southeast region don’t get relief soon, we’re going to be in a tight spot.”
Nursing home abuse is real
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as “an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.”
This can take many forms, including:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- emotional and psychological abuse
- financial abuse
- failing to call emergency services
The new icon system being used by CMS is a new recognition that abuse happens in nursing homes and that the government takes the issue seriously.
Contact a South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney
If someone you love has been abused, you can contact our Greenville nursing home abuse lawyers for a free consultation today to find out what your next steps should be. Let the Dan Pruitt Law Firm help you today.